Comment: This is the sixth in a series of articles written in 2006 commemorating the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of JFK that we are carrying every weekday as we approach the 45th Anniversary of that tragedy for mankind.
this image on the left.
American's now have shorter lives than Bosnians, their 'democracy' is only slightly better than the Czech Republic's, they have more people in prison per capita than any other country in the world, and a child born in Slovakia is more likely to survive than in America.Given these statistics, America's perceived standing at the top of the global village does seem ill-deserved. On the President Elect's website, the lead quotation is:
"Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little better than the one we live in today"If he is going to fulfill that promise, Obama will be facing the same sinister forces that Kennedy faced. Sadly for JFK and the world, these forces find that such things as 'social equality' are just not profitable enough.
|Cross-dressing FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover presided over the greatest development of organized crime America has ever seen|
Did you know that if we could reduce the world's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this...
8 Latin Americans
5 North Americans AND Canadians
Of all of the above, 82 would be non-white and only 18 would be "white".
67 would be non-Christian and only 33 would be Christian.
5 would control 32% of the entire world's wealth, and all of them would be US citizens
80 would live in substandard housing
24 would not have any electricity (And of the 76% that do have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.)
67 would be unable to read
1 (only one) would have a college education.
50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation
33 would be without access to a safe water supply
7 people would have access to the Internet
If there is a meal in your refrigerator, if you are dressed and have got shoes, if you have a bed and a roof above your head, you are better off, than 75% of people in this world.
If you have a bank account, money in your purse and there is some trifle in your coin box, you belong to 8% of well-provided people in this world.
If you are able to go to church, mosque or synagogue without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are better off than 3 billion persons in this world.
I guess you notice that Americans are in the minority population wise and yet they control the majority of the world's wealth. How do you think this happened? Divine intervention? An 'enterprizing spirit'? What do you think will happen if that majority of people ever really gets it in their head that America is an intolerable bully and must no longer be tolerated? Sure, America could bomb the hell out of the planet and reduce our lives to a Stone Age existence, but then that would be rather like cutting off our noses to spite our faces, now wouldn't it?
Today I want to look at some of the words and acts of John F. Kennedy in the last year - and days - leading up to his death, extracted from Farewell America. These words and deeds give us a deep insight as to how he wished to deal with America's place in the global village; that he saw the danger and sought to avert just what is happening today: the entire world is turning against America. As you read his words, and contemplate his acts, consider them in the light of what we have experienced in America since his death. We know where the assassins have led us: a world of terror and heartbreak, of endless war and privation for multiplied millions of human beings; where would we be today if they had not succeeded?
On January 9, 1961, John F. Kennedy addressed the Massachusetts State Legislature:
"We are setting out upon a voyage in 1961 no less hazardous than that undertaken by the Arbella in 1630,"Less than two years later, the final year of this 'hazardous' voyage" began. On January 14, 1963, President Kennedy sent his last State of the Union Message to Congress:
"For of those whom much is given, much is required. And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us, recording whether in our brief span of service, we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state, our success or failure, in whatever office we hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions:
"First, were we truly men of courage, with the courage to stand up to one's enemies, and the courage to stand up, when necessary, to one's associates, the courage to resist public pressure as well as private greed?
"Second, were we truly men of judgment, with perceptive judgment of the future as well as the past, of our own mistakes as well as the mistakes of others, with enough wisdom to know what we did not know, and enough candor to admit it?
"Third, were we truly men of integrity, men who never ran out on either the principles in which we believed or the people who believed in us, men whom neither financial gain nor political ambition could ever divert from the fulfillment of our sacred trust?
"Finally, were we truly men of dedication, with an honor mortgaged not to a single individual or group, and compromised by no private obligation or aim, but devoted solely to serving the public good and the national interest?
"Courage, judgment, integrity, dedication -- these are the historic qualities of the Bay Colony and the Bay State, the qualities which this state has consistently sent to Beacon Hill here in Boston and to Capital Hill back in Washington. And these are the qualities which, with God's help, this son of Massachusetts hopes will characterize our government's conduct in the four stormy years that lie ahead. Humbly I ask His help in this undertaking; but aware that on earth His will is worked by men, I ask for your help and your prayers as I embark on this new and solemn journey."
"I can report to you that the state of this old but youthful Union, in the 175th year of its life, is good . . . At home the recession is behind us . . . There may now be a temptation to relax. For the road has been long, the burden heavy, and the pace consistently urgent. But we cannot be satisfied to rest here. This is the side of the hill, not the top. The mere absence of recession is not growth. We have made a beginning -- but we have only begun. Now the time has come to make the most of our gains -- to translate the renewal of our national strength into the achievement of our national purpose . . .On January 15, he wrote:
"Tax reduction alone, however, is not enough to strengthen our society, to provide opportunities for the four million Americans who are born every year, to improve the lives of 32 million Americans who live on the outskirts of poverty. The quality of American life must keep pace with the quantity of American goods. This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.
"Therefore, by holding down the budgetary cost of existing programs to keep within the limitations I have set, it is both possible and imperative to adopt other new measures that we cannot afford to postpone. These measures are based on a series of fundamental premises, grouped under four related headings:
"First, we need to strengthen our Nation by investing in our youth . . .
"Second, we need to strengthen our Nation by safeguarding its health . . .
"Third, we need to strengthen our Nation by protecting the basic rights of its citizens . . .
"Fourth, we need to strengthen our Nation by making the best and the most economical use of its resources and facilities . . .
"We are not lulled by the momentary calm of the sea or the somewhat clearer skies above. We know the turbulence that lies below, and the storms that are beyond the horizon this year. But now the winds of change appear to be blowing more strongly than ever, in the world of communism as well as our own. For 175 years we have sailed with those winds at our back, and with the tides of human freedom in our favor. We steer our ship with hope, as Thomas Jefferson said, 'leaving Fear astern.'"
"Our 'bet' is that the future will be a world community of independent nations, with a diversity of economic, political and religious systems, united by a common respect for the rights of others . . . But history is what men make of it -- and we would be foolish to think that we can realize our own vision of a free and diverse future without unceasing vigilance, discipline and labor . . .On January 16th, he offered a toast:
"Above all, we must both demonstrate and develop the affirmative power of the democratic ideal -- remembering always that nations are great, not for what they are against, but what they are 'for.'
"It reminds me of a story of Abraham Lincoln. After he was elected President, someone said, "What are you going to do with your enemies, Mr. President?' Lincoln said, I am going to destroy them. I am going to make them my friends.'"On January 18th, he celebrated the second anniversary of his inauguration:
"I said the other day in the State of the Union that we were not on the top of the hill, but on the side of the hill. I don't think in this administration or in our generation or time will this country be at the top of the hill, but some day it will be, and I hope when it is that they will think we have done our part . . ."On January 29th, he addressed Congress once again:
"Education is the keystone in the arch of freedom and progress . . . For the individual, the doors to the schoolhouse, to the library and to the college lead to the richest treasures of our open society: to the power of knowledge -- to the training and skills necessary for productive employment -- to the wisdom, the ideals, and the culture which enrich life -- and to the creative, self-disciplined understanding of society needed for good citizenship in today's changing and challenging world."On February 5, he sent a 10,000 word message to Congress on the subject of mental illness and mental retardation.
On February 7th, he admonished his countrymen:
"Each morning and evening, let us remember the advice of my fellow Bostonian, the Reverend Phillips Brooks: 'Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.'"On February 8th, he devoted another 8,000 words to the problem of improving the nation's health.
On February 14th, he sent 8,000 words to Congress on the subject of the need to improve conditions for all of America's young people.
On the 21st, 12,000 words were sent to Congress regarding the needs of the nation's senior citizens.
On March 5, he told a delegation representing the American Indians:
"I know that when I first took this office, one of the things which concerned me most was the fact that there were nearly 5,000 Indian boys and girls who had no school to go to. Now we built classrooms for about 7,000 in the last 2 years."On February 14, President Kennedy had been asked at his press conference to comment on the attitude of the French government:
"It would seem like, in a way, that President De Gaulle's intention to develop France's own nuclear capability and his recent pact with Chancellor Adenauer would meet in perhaps a rather perverse way, and certainly not as you envisaged it, our desire to begin withdrawing from Europe and having Western Europe assume more of its own defense."On March 11, he declared,
"Manpower is the basic resource. It is the indispensable means of converting other resources to mankind's use and benefit. How well we develop and employ human skills is fundamental in deciding how much we will accomplish as a nation."On March 13th, he remarked:
"In front of the Archives building there is a statue and under it it says, 'The past is prologue.' Not necessarily, and it is because we do not wish to regard the past as necessarily a prologue in the 1960s that we have attempted to put forward our proposals . . . 'The great advantage of Americans,' wrote de Tocqueville in 1835, 'consists in their being able to commit faults which they may afterwards repair.' To this I would add the fact that the great advantage of hindsight consists of our applying its lessons by way of foresight. If this Nation can apply the lesson and repair the faults of the last 5 years, if we can stick to the facts, and cast out those things which really don't apply to the situation, then surely this country can reach its goals . . ."On March 20th, he told his audience at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose:
"What Franklin Roosevelt said to the American people in the 1930s I say to you now: This generation of Americans, your generation of Americans, has a rendezvous with destiny . . .On the 23rd, he told another audience, this time at Chicago,
"We are committed to four basic principles in this hemisphere in the Alliance for Progress. The first is the right of every nation to govern itself, to be free from outside dictation and coercion, to mold its own economy and society in any fashion consistent with the will of the people.
"Second is the right of every individual citizen to political liberty, the right to speak his own views, to worship God in his own way, to select the government which rules him, and to reject it when it no longer serves the need of a nation.
"And Third, is the right to social justice, the right of every citizen to participate in the progress of his nation. This means land for the landless, and education for those who are denied their education today in this hemisphere. It means that ancient institutions which perpetuate privilege must give way. It means that rich and poor alike must bear the burden and the opportunity of building a nation . . ."
"Twenty-five hundred years ago the Greek poet Alcaeus laid down the principle which best sums up the greatness of Chicago: 'Not houses firmly roofed,' he wrote, 'or the stones of walls well builded, nay, nor canals and dockyards, make the city -- but men able to use their opportunities.'"On March 25, he welcomed twelve visiting French Generals:
". . . So we welcome you, coming as you do from a martial and distinguished race who have shown a mastery in the use of arms for a thousand years . . ."On April 2, he told the Congress:
"'Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war,' wrote Milton . . . This, for the American people, is a time for vision, for patience, for work, and for wisdom. For better or worse, we are the pacesetters. Freedom's leader cannot flag of falter, or another runner will set the pace. We have dared to label the Sixties the Decade of Development. But it is not the eloquence of our slogans, but the quality of our endurance, which will determine whether this generation of Americans deserves the leadership which history has thrust upon us."On April 11th, he remarked at the White House:
"This administration is watching closely the possibilities of a general across the board increase in steel. I opposed such an increase last year. I oppose such an increase now . . . What it needs is more business at competitive prices, not less business at higher prices . . . I urge similar restraint on the steel workers union. With over 100,000 steel workers still unemployed, their need is for more jobs with job security, not fewer jobs at higher wages."On May 9, he spoke at Arlington National Cemetery:
"It is no accident that men of genius in music like Paderewski or Chopin should also have been great patriots. You have to be a free man to be a great artist."On May 18th, he declared in Alabama:
"'At the Olympic Games,' Aristotle wrote, 'it is not the finest and the strongest men who are crowned, but they who enter the lists -- for out of these the prize-men are elected.' So too, in life, of the honorable and the good, it is they who act who rightly win the prizes . . .On May 23rd, speaking at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, he remarked:
"I have read much of George Norris from Nebraska, and his favorite phrase, recurring throughout all of his speeches, was his reference, and his dedication, to 'generations yet unborn.' The first of those generations is now enjoying the fruits of his labor, as will others for decades to come. So let us all, whether we are public officials or private citizens, northerners or southerners, easterners or westerners, farmers or city dwellers, live up to the ideals and ideas of George Norris, and resolve that we, too, in our time, 30 years later, will ourselves build a better Nation for generations yet unborn.'"
"I think it is because the two political parties in our history have always been divided, as Emerson said, into the party of hope and into the party of memory. From the time of Jefferson, I think we have been the party of Hope. And therefore it is natural that artists, men and women who work in the theater and all the other related arts, should find themselves most at home in the party of hope. Up the way in this corridor tonight, the steel industry is presenting to my distinguished predecessor its annual award, to President Eisenhower, as the man who has done most for the steel industry this year. Last year I won the award and they came to Washington to present it to me, but the Secret Service just wouldn't let them in."President Kennedy sometimes showed signs of bitterness, but that same morning he had seemed listless and pensive. Did he somehow know that his last trip was halfway over, that he had less than six months to live? That noon, in New York's Battery Park, he recited an old Breton fisherman's prayer:
"O God, the sea is so great and my boat is so small . . ."On June 5, he was in Texas:
"I am glad to leave Washington, DC, and come to the Pass of the North, El Paso, a part of the Old West, but also a part of a new America . . ."He had so little time left . . .
The following day he spoke at San Diego State College:
"No country can possibly move ahead, no free society can possibly be sustained, unless it has an educated citizenry whose qualities of mind and heart permit it to take part in the complicated and increasingly sophisticated decisions that pour not only upon the President and upon the Congress, but upon all the citizens who exercise the ultimate power."On June 10, he gave the commencement address at American University in Washington:
"What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women -- not merely peace in our time but peace for all time . . .On June 11, he addressed the American people from his office:
'When a man's way please the Lord,' the Scriptures tell us, 'he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.'
". . . The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war.
"This generation of Americans has already had enough -- more than enough -- of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to t to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just.
"We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we labor on -- not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a strategy of peace."
"This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened . . . One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln free the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons are not fully free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet freed from social and economic oppression. And this Nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free till all its citizens are free.On June 19, he asked the Congress to act:
"We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that this is a land of the free except for the Negroes; that we have no second-class citizens except Negroes; that we have no class or caste system, no ghettoes, no master race except with respect to Negroes?
"Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise . . .
"We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and as a people. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the street. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is a time to act in the Congress, in your State and local legislative bodies, and above all, in all of our daily lives . . . Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American life or law . . ."
"I therefore ask every member of Congress to set aside sectional and political ties, and to look at this issue from the viewpoint of the Nation. I ask you to look into your hearts -- not in search of charity, for the Negro neither wants nor needs condescension -- but for the one plain, proud and priceless quality that unites us all as Americans: a sense of Justice. In this year of the Emancipation Centennial, justice requires us to insure the blessings of liberty for all Americans and their posterity -- not merely for reasons of economic efficiency, world diplomacy and domestic tranquillity -- but, above all, because it is right."He also asked Congress to establish an Advisory Council on the Arts:
"As education needs schools, so art needs museums, actors and playwrights need theaters, and composers and musicians need opera companies and orchestras . . .At Frankfurt on June 25, he remarked:
"The concept of the public welfare should reflect cultural as well as economic considerations. We have agencies of the Government which are concerned with the welfare and advancement of science and technology, of education, recreation, and health. We should now begin to give similar attention to the arts. I am particularly interested in the opportunities for young people to develop their gifts . . ."
"But Goethe tells us in his greatest poem that Faust lost the liberty of his soul when he said to the passing moment, 'Stay, thou art so fair.' And our liberty, too, is endangered if we pause for the passing moment, if we rest on our achievements, if we resist the pace of progress. For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future . . .At Dublin on June 28, he declared:
"So we are all idealists. We are all visionaries. Let it not be said of this Atlantic generation that we left ideals and visions to the past, nor purpose and determination to our adversaries. We have come too far, we have sacrificed too much, to disdain the future now. And we shall ever remember what Goethe told us -- that the 'highest wisdom, the best that mankind ever knew,' was the realization that 'he only earns his freedom and existence who daily conquers them anew.'"
"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not . . ."On June 29, as he left his beloved Ireland, he read a poem:
Tis it is the Shannon's brightly glancing stream,He never went back except in spirit...
Brightly gleaming, silent in the morning beam
Oh, the sight entrancing,
Thus returns from travels long,
Years of exile, years of pain,
To see old Shannon's face again,
O'er the waters dancing.
"Well, I am going to come back and see old Shannon's face again and I am taking, as I go back to America, all of you with me . . ."
On July 17, he declared:
"The United States has to move very fast to even stand still . . . We are going to have to find in the next decade 22 million jobs to take care of those coming into the labor market and those who are eliminated by technological gains . . ."On July 26, he told American people:
"Yesterday a shaft of light cut into the darkness. Negations were concluded in Moscow on a treaty to ban all nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water . . .On August 1, he remarked:
"This treaty is for all of us. It is particularly for our children and our grandchildren, and they have no lobby here in Washington . . . (But now) for the first time in many years, the path of peace may be open. No one can be certain what the future will bring. No one can say whether the time has come for an easing of the struggle. But history and our own conscience will judge us harsher if we do not now make every effort to test our hopes by action, and this is the place to begin. According to the Ancient Chinese proverb, 'A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.' My fellow Americans, let us take that first step. Let us, if we can, step back from the shadows of war and seek out the way of peace. And if that journey is a thousand miles, or even more, let history record that we, in this land, at this time, took the first step . . ."
"I think we will see a very changing world in 1964 . . ."And that same day he warned:
"The end of this summer of 1963 will be an especially critical time for 400,000 young Americans who, according to the experience of earlier years, will not return to school when the summer is ended. Moreover, without a special effort to reverse this trend, another 700,000 students will return to school in September, but will fail to complete the school year . . ."And, turning to another subject:
"I think there has been a common recognition that there is the necessity for revolution in Latin America, and it is either going to be peaceful or bloody. But there must be progress, there must be revolution . . ."August 24 marked the beginning of the repressions against the Buddhists in South Vietnam. At the beginning of September, President Kennedy dispatched a new information mission to Saigon. A General and a diplomat made an inspection tour of the countryside and reported back to the National Security Council. General Krulack declared that the South Vietnamese troops were fighting magnificently, that the Diem government was popular with the people, and that there was no reason for concern. The diplomat, J. Mendenhall, reported that the country was in a desperate situation, that the Diem regime was on the brink of collapse, and recommended that Nehru be removed from power. Whereupon President Kennedy asked them if they were sure they had both visited the same country.On August 27, he remarked, ". . . To govern is to choose . . ."
On September 2,
"I don't think that unless a greater effort is made by the Government (of South Vietnam) to win popular support that the war can be won out there. In the final analysis it is their war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment, we can send our men out there as advisers, but they have to win it, the people of Vietnam against the Communists. We are prepared to continue to assist them, but I don't think that the war can be won unless the people support the effort and, in my opinion, in the last two months, the government has gotten out of touch with the people."On September 14, 1963 at Bismarck, North Dakota, Bobby Kennedy acknowledged beforethe Congress of American Indians that Indian children received insufficient education,that the Indians were poorly housed, often out of work, and that their sanitaryconditions were the poorest of any racial group in the United States. He calledtheir situation "tragically ironic" in view of the fact that they were the onlygroup in the country who had the right to call themselves "the first American."On September 20, John Kennedy addressed the United Nations General Assembly:
"The world has not escaped from the darkness. The long shadows of conflict and crisis envelop us still . . . My presence here today is not a sign of crisis, but of confidence . . . we believe that all the world -- in Eastern Europe as well as Western, in Southern Africa as well as Northern, in old nations as well as new --the people must be free to choose their own future, without discrimination or dictation, without coercion or subversion . . .On September 23, he wrote:
"Why should the United States and the Soviet Union, in preparing for such . . . expeditions, become involved in immense duplications of research, construction, and expenditure? Surely we should explore whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries -- indeed of all the world -- cannot work together in the conquest of space, sending some day in this decade to the moon not the representatives of a single nation, but the representatives of all our countries . . .
"The contest will continue -- the contest between those who see a monolithic world and those who believe in diversity -- but it should be a contest in leadership and responsibility instead of destruction, a contest in achievement instead of intimidation. Speaking for the United States of America, I welcome such a contest. For we believe that truth is stronger than error -and that freedom is more enduring than coercion. And in the contest for a better life, all the world can be a winner . . .
"Never before has man had such capacity to control his own environment, to end thirst and hunger, to conquer poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and massive human misery. We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world -- or to make it the last . . .
"For as the world renounces the competition of weapons, competition in ideas must flourish -- and that competition must be as full and as fair as possible. What the United Nations has done in the past in less important than the tasks for the future . . .
"My fellow inhabitants of this planet: let us take our stand here in this assembly of nations. And let us see if we, in our own time, can move the world to a just and lasting peace."
"The American Presidency is a formidable, exposed, and somewhat mysterious institution. It is formidable because it represents the point of ultimate decision in the American political system. It is exposed because decision cannot take place in a vacuum: the Presidency is the center of the play of pressure, interest, and idea in the Nation; and the Presidential office is the vortex into which all the elements of national decision are irresistibly drawn. And it is mysterious because the essence of ultimate decision remains impenetrable to the observer -- often, indeed, to the decider himself.The following day he left to tour the West.
"Yet if the process of presidential decision is obscure, the necessity for it is all too plain. To govern, as wise men have said, is to choose. Lincoln observed that we cannot escape history. It is equally true that we cannot escape choice; and for an American President, choice is charged with a peculiar and daunting responsibility for the safety and welfare of the Nation. A President must choose among men, among measures, among methods. His choice helps determine the issues of his Presidency, their priority in the national life, and the mode and success of their execution. The heart of the Presidency is therefore informed, prudent and resolute choice -- and the secret of the presidential enterprise is to be found in an examination of the way presidential choices are made."
"We are reaching the limits of our fundamental needs -- of water to drink, of fresh air to breathe, of open space to enjoy, of abundant sources of energy to make life easier . . .On September 25, he declared:
"Have we ever thought why such a small proportion of our beaches should be available for public use, how it is that so many of our great cities have been developed without parks or playgrounds, why so many of our rivers are so polluted, why the air we breathe is so impure, or why the erosion of our land was permitted to run so large as it has in this state (Pennsylvania), and in Ohio, and all the way to the West Coast . . .
"I don't know why it should be that 6 or 7 percent only of the whole Atlantic Coast should be in the public sphere and the rest owned by private citizens and denied to many millions of our fellow citizens."
"We must today prepare for those who are our heirs. The steps we take in conservation and reclamation will have very little effect upon all of us here immediately, and in this decade. What we are doing in the real sense is preparing for those who come after us . . ."On September 26th, he added:
"I urge this generation of Americans who are the fathers and mothers of 350 million Americans who will live in this country in the year 2000, and I want those Americans who live in 2000 to feel that those of us who had positions of responsibility in the Sixties did our part . . ."And the same day he revealed the key to his thinking:
"If this nation is to survive and succeed in the real world of today, we must acknowledge the realities of the world; and it is those realities that I mention now.On September 27th, he mused, "what green grass will they see . . ." He had less than two months left...
"We must first of all recognize that we cannot remake the world simply by our own command. When we cannot even bring all of our own people into full citizenship without acts of violence, we can understand how much harder it is to control events beyond our borders . . .
"Every nation has its own traditions, its own values, its own aspirations. Our assistance from time to time can help other nations preserve their independence and advance their growth, but we cannot remake them in our own image. We cannot enact their laws, nor can we operate their governments or dictate our policies.
"Second, we must recognize that every nation determines its policies in terms of its own interests. 'No nation,' George Washington wrote, 'is to be trusted further than it is bound by its interest; and no prudent statesman or politician will depart from it.' National interest is more powerful than ideology, and the recent developments within the Communist empire show this very clearly. Friendship, as Palmerston said, may rise or wane, but interests endure.
"The United States has rightly determined, in the years since 1945 under three different administrations, that our interest, our national security, the interest of the United States of America, is best served by preserving and protecting a world of diversity in which no one power or no one combination of powers can threaten the security of the United States.
"The reason that we moved so far into the world was our fear that at the end of the war, and particularly when China became Communist, that Japan and Germany would collapse, and these two countries which had so long served as a barrier to the Soviet advance, and the Russian advance before that, would open up a wave of conquest of all Europe and all of Asia, and then the balance of power turning against us, we would finally be isolated and ultimately destroyed. That is what we have been engaged in for 18 years, to prevent that happening, to prevent any one monolithic power having sufficient force to destroy the United States.
"And third, we must recognize that foreign policy in the modern world does not lend itself to easy, simple black and white solution. If we were to have diplomatic relations only with those countries whose principles we approved of, we would have relations with very few countries in a very short time. If were to withdraw our assistance from all governments who are run differently from our own, we would relinquish half the world immediately to our adversaries. If we were to treat foreign policy as merely a medium for delivering self-righteous sermons to supposedly inferior people, we would give up all thought of world influence or world leadership.
"For the purpose of foreign policy is not to provide an outlet for our own sentiments of hope or indignation; it is to shape real events in a real world. We cannot adopt a policy which says that if something does not happen, or others do not do exactly what we wish, we will return to 'Fortress America.' That is the policy in this changing world of retreat, not of strength . . .
"The position of the United States, I believe, is happier and safer when history is going for us rather than when it is going against us. And we have history going for us today, but history is what men make it. The future is what men make it . . ."[This passage is taken from a speech given by the President at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Some commentators attacked it as "communistic."]
On September 28, he learned that there were 190 million Americans. On October 9, he told the press that he had consented to the sale by private dealers of surplus American wheat or wheat flour to the Soviet Union. He also remarked:
"We are opposed to military coups, and it is the reason that we have broken off our relations with the Dominican Republic and Honduras . . . we are opposed to coups, because we think that they are defeating -- self-defeating, and defeating for the hemisphere . . ."The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed on October 7, 1963.On October 12, he noted:
"That is always true, the first voyages are the hard ones and they require the perseverance and character. And I think that is a good lesson for all of us today as we attempt new things. The first voyages, as all of us know, are the more difficult, whether it is going into space, going to the bottom of the ocean, building a better country here, building a more prosperous country. The first voyage through our history has always been the most difficult . . ."On October 18, he told a group of visitors from New Haven:
"New Haven is typical of many cities faced by complex, interwoven problems. Ours is an age of great mobility. Each year thousands of families move from rural areas to urban slums. They come seeking better lives, but often find only new, unexpected barriers. These people find themselves in strange alien surroundings. Many have the added problem of racial discrimination. Much of the housing available to them is substandard. Most of them come without skills, seeking jobs, at a time when modern technology is rapidly making skilled training essential to employment. Their children enter already overcrowded schools, and often believe their studies bear little relation to the realities of their lives. Many of them drop out of school, only to become part of the growing army of unemployed youth. Health and recreational facilities for these young people are inadequate, and they are surrounded by crime, illiteracy, illegitimacy, and human despair. Finding no work and little hope, too many of them turn to juvenile crime to obtain the material goods they think the society has denied them. Others turn to drink and narcotics addiction. And soon the cycle repeats itself, as this dispossessed generation bears children little better equipped than their parents to cope with urban life . . ."That same day he reminded his listeners of that poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay:
Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand.On October 24, he concerned himself with the problem of retarded children. He had less than one month left...
Come see my shining palace. It is built upon the sand.
On October 26th, at Amherst College, he honored poet Robert Frost:
"With privilege goes responsibility. Robert Frost said:On October 30th, he spoke at Philadelphia:The roads diverged in a wood, and I --"In America, our heroes have customarily run to men of large accomplishments. But today this college and country honors a man whose contribution was not to our size but to our spirit, not to our political beliefs but to our insight, not to our self-esteem, but to our self-comprehension. In honoring Robert Frost, we therefore can pay honor to the deepest sources of our national strength. That strength takes many forms, and the most obvious forms are not always the most significant. The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation's greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us . . . When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses . . .
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
"I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth . . . Robert Frost was often skeptical about projects for human improvement, yet I do not think he would disdain this (American and world) hope. As he wrote during the uncertain days of the Second War:Take human nature altogether since time began
And it must be a little more in favor of man,
Say a fraction of one percent at the very least . . .
Our hold on the planet wouldn't have so increased . . .
". . . May I repeat the words with which I summarized my view of America three years ago: 'I believe in an America that is on the march, an America respected by all nations, friends and foes alike, an America that is moving, doing, working, trying, a strong America in a world of peace.' That was my credo then and that is my credo now . . .The following day, President Kennedy signed a bill providing for the construction of mental retardation facilities and community mental health centers.
"In the words which concluded an historic address to our party by the great American Claude Bowers, some 35 years ago, in the '28 campaign:Now has come the time for action.
Clear away all thought of faction
out from vacillating shame, every man no lie contain
Let him answer to his name.
Call the roll.
Diem and Nhu were assassinated on November 1, 1963. Kennedy was accused of ordering or allowing it. However, that is doubtful considering the fact that he, himself, was already the object of an assassination plot by the same forces.
November 5 was Thanksgiving Day, and it marked John F. Kennedy's 1,019th day in office.
"Yet, as our power has grown, so has our peril. Today we give our thanks, most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers -- for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek every day to emulate. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them. Let us therefore proclaim our gratitude to Providence for manifold blessings -- let us be humbly thankful for inherited ideals -- and let us resolve to share those blessings and those ideals with our fellow human beings throughout the world . . . On that day let us gather in sanctuaries dedicated to worship and in homes blessed by family affection to express our gratitude for the glorious gifts of God; and let us earnestly and humbly pray that He will continue to guide and sustain us in the great unfinished tasks of achieving peace, justice and understanding among all men and nations and of ending misery and suffering wherever they exist . . ."On November 8th, the 1,022nd day he declared:
"The Family of Man is more than three billion strong. It lives in more than 100 nations. Most of its members are not white. Most of them are not Christians. Most of them know nothing about free enterprise or due process of law or the Australian ballot. If our society is to promote the Family of Man, let us realize the magnitude of our task. This is a sobering assignment. For the Family of Man in the world of today is not faring very well . . .In the days that followed he welcomed the members of the Black Watch regiment, met for the last time with the members of the press, turned once more to the problems of the children and the aged, and told this story to the delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention:
"Even little wars are dangerous in this nuclear world . . . The Korean conflict alone, forgetting for a moment the thousands of Americans who lost their lives, cost four times as much as our total world-wide aid budget for the current year . . .
"I do not want it said of us what T. S. Eliot said of others some years ago: 'These were a decent people. Their only monuments: the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf balls . . .'
"The struggle is by no means over. It is essential that we not only maintain our effort, but that we persevere; that we not only endure, in Mr. Faulkner's words, but also prevail. It is essential, in short, that the word go forth from the United States to all who are concerned about the future of the Family of Man that we are not weary in well-doing. And we shall, I am confident, if we maintain the pace, we shall in due season reap the kind of world we deserve and deserve the kind of world we still have."
"Marshal Lyautey, the great French Marshal, went out to his gardener and asked him to plant a tree. The gardener said, "Why plant it? It won't flower for 100 years.' 'In that case,' the Marshal said, 'plant it this afternoon.'"Now, let us continue to examine those forces that were gathering to destroy John Kennedy and how they looked at the Global Village. I think that the reader will agree that those things that John and Bobby Kennedy sought to change, the criminal element in our society, have only expanded to the point that there is no escaping the fate that awaits America the Bully. And since it was an alliance of Big Business, Political Interests, and Organized Crime that conspired to kill both of the Kennedy brothers, it may be reasonably assumed that those are the elements that have run this country ever since and that the Bush family are part of this consortium. Anyone with open eyes can see where it all is heading. And for those who dreamily believe that a change in party is going to make one bit of difference, think again. Keep in mind that the following was written in 1968.
From Farewell America:
"It's like Chicago in the Al Capone days," declared John Irwin, first assistant District Attorney of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in 1967, noting that in the past six years there had been 45 gangland murders in the Boston area alone. Writing in the Saturday Evening Post,(1) Bill Davidson added, "On an even higher level, the New England Mafia has contacts among a group of millionaire pillars of the community," and Charles Rogovin, head of the Organized Crime Section of the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, remarked, "Since I came here from President Johnson's Crime Commission, I feel as if I've been watching old gangster movies. The other families of the Mafia have become much more subtle in their killing. Their victims mostly just disappear -- and there's no heat, no hue and cry. But here they brazenly shoot them down at high noon on a busy street."
Despite theses remarks, Massachusetts is not first among the criminal states, and neither Boston nor Worcester nor Springfield figure among the key cities in the industry of crime, the foremost industry in the United States. The vigorous action taken by the Justice Department and the FBI against the New England Mafia in the past two years was inspired more by political than by technical considerations. The Empire of Crime remains intact. The annual budget of the private government of organized crime was estimated in 1960 at $60 billion, more than the budget of the Department of Defense ($47.5 billion).(2)
Organized crime could never have survived and developed on a large scale without the "protection of the law-enforcement agencies."(3) Face-to-face with organized crime, or rather side-by-side, stands a police force that often ignores its existence, and sometimes even supports it. On June 15, 1961, Attorney General Robert Kennedy declared, "The problem of organized crime will not really be solved as long as the attitude of the American people remains what it is -- acceptance of crime and corruption," and as long as Americans are only interested in "getting a bigger TV set, a bigger car, and earning an extra buck."
Robert Kennedy's career began in 1951 as a lawyer in the criminal division of the Justice Department. In 1953, he became one of the five assistants of Roy Cohn, chief legal counsel for Senator McCarthy, chairman of the Investigations Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Government Operations. He took over Cohn's job when Senator McClellan(4) replaced McCarthy in 1954. In 1957, with a staff of 65, he became chief counsel of the Senate Rackets Committee, also headed by Senator McClellan. There, he encountered men like Antonio Corallo, who had been hired by a factory manager simply to keep his eye on the workers; dubious business consultants like George Fitzgerald and Eddie Cheyfitz;(5) industries like Kohler, Inc., a Sheboygan, Wisconsin manufacturer of plumbing fixtures, which in 1897 had cut its employees' salaries by 50 % and given each a bathtub, and pursued much the same policies in 1958. He exposed corruption in the labor unions -- primarily in the Bakers and Confectioners Union, but also in the Mechanics, the carpenters, the Hotel Employees, the New York Postal Workers, the Textile Workers, and even the Garbage Collecters unions. He became an expert on labor racketeering. In November 1957, he received the first annual award as "Outstanding Investigator of the Year" from the Society of Professional Investigators.
When he became Attorney General, Robert Kennedy already had a good idea of the importance of organized crime in the United States. The kingpins of crime, some of them survivors of the Chicago era, others more recent arrivals, had left the gangs for the big cities. The gambling industry alone supported 50,000 potentates, employed the services of 400,000 petty bookmakers, and ruined one million families every year. Gambling had become so big that it was capable of disturbing the national economy. There was also prostitution, the narcotics traffic and commercial pornography, not to speak of hold-ups and murders. This industry of vice, which had already contaminated the trade unions, was also active among the youth of the country. In the decade, between 1950 and 1960, crimes doubled and juvenile delinquency tripled, although the population increased by only 18%.(6)
The war against crime cost the United States $22 billion a year, or $120 per citizen. "Crime pays if it is well-organized. American gangsters have become specialists," noted C. Wright Mills. An expert on the question, Donald R. Cressey,(7) wrote: "The situation is more dangerous than the situation in the 1920's and the 1930's when the monopolies controlled by organized criminals were primarily monopolies on only the distribution of illicit goods and services. The real danger is that the trend will continue to the point where syndicate rulers gain such a degree of control that they drive supporters of free enterprise and democracy out of' business' and then force us to pay tribute in the form of traditional freedoms. Syndicate rulers are among the most active monopolizers in the American economy." And Cressey continued, "We agree with Senator Kennedy who . . . became convinced that if we do not on a national scale attack organized criminals with weapons and techniques as effective as their own, they will destroy us." He wrote this in 1967, when organized crime, more prosperous than ever, was still in control of the empire that Robert Kennedy had tried to defeat five years before.
In 1951, the Kefauver Commission had concluded that organized crime, which it referred to as the Mafia, was run by Costello-Adonis-Lansky (the New York Syndicate) and Accardo-Guzik-Fischetti (the Chicago Syndicate). But between 1951 and 1961, the Kefauver Commission found it difficult to obtain reliable information about the nature of the Mafia and the extent of its activities. In 1957, it disclosed that 58 crime lords had met at the Appalachin Conference in upper New York State, but in 1960 the federal government and the Justice Department had little information about what had transpired at the meeting, and many of the participants were unknown to them.(8)
When Robert Kennedy was appointed Attorney General, the Crime and Rackets Section of the Justice Department employed only 17 people. They worked individually, without illusions, and received no comprehensive information on international and organized crime. By 1963, their number had swelled to 60, and they were able to draw on information which was available to the press and the public, but which had never been officially brought to their attention. Robert Kennedy opened federal investigative bureaus in six large cities outside of Washington. These bureaus were charged with gathering information on 1,100 notorious racketeers. In 1961 and 1962, Congress approved seven anti-crime laws authorized by the Attorney General, the most important anti-criminal legislation voted since 1954. The first result was the dismantling of the nationwide telegraphic betting system. In November 1962, a gambling and prostitution establishment in Detroit which had been doing a $20 million-a-year business was raided and closed down. In 1963, the illegal gambling organizations were obliged to cease their activities in many different parts of the country. In the first six months of 1963, 171 racketeers were indicted, as against 24 in 1960.(9)
In October 1963, Robert Kennedy persuaded Joseph Valachi, a member of the crime syndicate who had requested government protection in 1962 and who had been imprisoned since that date for second-degree murder, to testify. The Attorney General revealed that the crime syndicate, known to its members as Cosa Nostra, was directed by a board of between 9 and 12 active members whose names were known to him, and to whom the representatives in the various cities were responsible. On October 19, 1963, he declared to the New York Times that these racketeers were only able to operate by buying the protection of those in whom the communities placed their confidence. He denounced hired killers and the wall of silence surrounding them.
Joseph Valachi was the first member of Cosa Nostra to reveal the activities of this "cruel and calculating" organization. Since 1960, there had been 37 gangland murders in the city of Chicago alone, and 70 bombings in the region of Youngstown, Ohio. Kennedy named the principal ringleaders of the organization and declared that he was determined to put them out of action or in prison. He praised the Los Angeles and New York police departments for their cooperation, but he also cited the example of Newport, Kentucky, the type of American community where crime and corruption prevailed with the consent of the Mayor, several members of the city council, and the local police force.(10) He added that there were many Newports throughout the country, that organized crime had become particularly subtle, that it made the most of modern communications techniques, and that it had tremendous resources at its disposal to circumvent the law. It used extortion not only as a source of revenue, but also to take over control of businesses. It had infiltrated the clothing industry, bowling alleys and liquor stores, juke box companies, vending machines and the construction business. These rackets were often run by telephone, and from outside the state.
The Attorney General declared that he would ask Congress to vote new laws authorizing the use of wire-tapping devices and guaranteeing the immunity of witnesses. "Fighting organized crime is like working a jigsaw puzzle," he said. He emphasized that organized crime affected the entire community, that it was the concern of every citizen. "There is an old saying," he concluded, "that every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. It is equally true that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on."
The McClellan Committee decided that the term "American Confederation" represented the best definition of Cosa Nostra, which might be considered as a sort of private government, and not only as an economic cartel. The Confederation of Crime has its own Code of Ethics. Each member is expected to:
- Be loyal to members of the organization.The Confederation is founded on the following principles:
- Be rational. Be a member of the team.
- Be a man of honor. Respect womanhood and your elders.
- Be a stand-up guy. Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut.
- Have class. Be independent. Know your way around the world.
1) Organized crime is a business venture that seeks every opportunity to corrupt or have influence on anyone in government who can or may in the future be able to do favors for organized crime.The work of the confederation is greatly facilitated by the structure of the police. There are 420,000 police officers in the United States attached to 40,000 police stations, 50 of which are federal, 200 adjuncts of the state police, and 39,750 under the control of the local police.
2) Insulation serves to separate the leaders of the confederation from the illegal activities which they direct.
3) Members are subject to discipline of a quasi-military nature.
4) The public relations of the organization are of the utmost importance.
5) The structure of the organization must be such that it does not appear to be and cannot be attacked as an organization.
6) Job specialization is essential. The organization counts among its members the corrupters, the corruptees, the enforcers, the executioners, the money-movers, and the button men, representing the lowest echelon of the confederation. The corrupters are as essential to the organization as the negotiators to a trade union. The money movers are assisted by other specialists, who invest the funds of the organization in legal enterprises. The button men carry out the orders passed down through the hierarchy. The organization also has its own "accountants," and "lawyers."
The Task Force report entitled "The Police," published in 1967 by the Justice Department, acknowledges that in several cities in the United States a large proportion of police officers are engaged in various forms of criminal or immoral activities, and that a few dishonest policemen may spread corruption throughout the force. Such was the case in Denver, where it was discovered in 1961 that a small group of corrupt policemen had implicated dozens of other officers throughout the city in their criminal activities. The majority of those involved were not, in fact, active accomplices, but their oath and regulations required them to report any suspicious actions, and prohibited them from taking part in any illegal activity.(11) The report acknowledges that corrupt police chiefs may set a dangerous example for younger officers. "Corruption then becomes an element of promotion, and the existence of this corruption at the highest level of authority may influence all of the members of the police."
In Chapter 7, "The Integrity of the Police," the report recalls that the Mayor and Sheriff of Phoenix City, Alabama, were forced to resign in 1955, but that political corruption allied with organized crime and vice had continued to spread to several other cities in the state. The Justice Department discovered in 1961 that the head of the gambling syndicate in Syracuse, New York, had been living in that city for 25 years and had never been bothered by the local police.
The state police are no more trustworthy than the local police. Governor Claude Kirk of Florida preferred to hire a private detective agency to investigate crime and corruption in his state. The local police in certain states, California for example, are to all appearances fairly honest, but in other states, for instance Texas, they are thoroughly corrupt.
Many police departments refuse to acknowledge the existence of organized crime and concern themselves only with local and isolated criminal offenses. This attitude has the effect of guaranteeing the immunity of the crime syndicates. Other police departments even cooperate with the confederation by exchanging information with its local representatives.
There are substantial differences in the quality of police personnel in the United States. A white-collar worker earns an average of $7,124 a year. The average salary of a policemen is only $5,321.(12) In Seattle, a policeman earns $375 a month less than a cable splicer. In Nashville, an electrician makes $3.22 an hour, a policeman only $2.55. The disparity is even greater in the upper echelons. The salaries offered college graduates by the police are rarely competitive with those offered by private industry .The salary of a municipal police chief varies between $7,054 and $17,600 a year (in cities with a population of more than 500,000). Only eight out of the 38 cities with a population of between 300,000 and a million pay their police captains more than $11,000 a year. In only nine of these cities does a sergeant earn more than $9,600. In certain other cities with more than a million inhabitants, Dallas for example, the salaries paid police officers are even lower than these average figures. Nor is there much room for promotion within the official hierarchy. The maximum salary of a San Francisco patrolman is only $600 a year more than the minimum he received when he entered the force.
The excessive decentralization of the police, the dilution of its responsibilities and the diversity of its efforts also created numerous problems with regard to criminal arrests.(13) The leaders of the Confederation of Crime are "represented, in one form or another, in legislative, judicial and executive bodies all ever the country."(14) The late Chief William H. Parker of the Los Angeles police added, "Despite the most aggressive and enlightened leadership, law enforcement cannot rise above the level set by the electorate."
There are three varieties of official corruption: nonfeasance (failure to perform a required duty at all); malfeasance (the commission of some act which is positively unlawful); and misfeasance (the improper performance of some act).
Where does the FBI come into this paradise of crime? J. Edgar Hoover(15) controls the only police organization existing on the national level. In the 38 years that he has occupied this position, he has known seven Presidents and out-lasted 13 Attorney Generals.(16) As of August 31, 1962, the Federal Bureau of Investigation employed 14,217 people, including more than 6,000 federal agents. Congress has always granted Hoover's budgetary requests. J, Edgar Hoover has become something of a national monument. No one dares to contradict "the Director," nor to suspect him.
The FBI has two principal functions: it investigates violations of federal law, and it presents its conclusions to the Attorney General and the federal attorneys. It is concerned with investigation, not law-enforcement. All of the so-called "federal" crimes fall within its jurisdiction, but the list of these, although it covers some 165 subjects, is limited. The FBI has no jurisdiction over tax violations, narcotics, customs, the mails, or the protection of the President. On the other hand, it is concerned with kidnapping, bank hold-ups, stolen cars that have been driven across state lines, and other interstate infractions of the law. Theoretically, organized crime does not fall within its jurisdiction, since it thrives on gambling, frauds, rackets, and other crimes that constitute violations of state rather than federal law, but the FBI's highly-developed intelligence sources keep it informed about the Confederation of Crime and its activities.(17)
Attorney General Robert Kennedy ordered the FBI to investigate the inter-state activities of the confederation, but this assignment irritated Mr. Hoover, who was nevertheless instructed by President Kennedy to defer to the Attorney General's wishes and to report directly to him.(18) When, in 1962, Robert Kennedy ordered the FBI to investigate the steel corporations, Hoover consented only reluctantly, and there is some indication that the order was carried out with "misfeasance."(19)
The Attorney General would have liked to create a National Crime Commission to bring together and coordinate all the available information on the confederation, its activities, and the movements of its members, but J. Edgar Hoover wants no competition, and he has his own ideas about how a federal law -- enforcement agency should be run.
The FBI has 55 main offices and 500 branch offices throughout the country, but it prefers not to work with the state and local police unless they are considered "honorable" (which singularly limits the possibilities for cooperation). Moreover, "honorable" in this case has a very special meaning.
Mr. Hoover, a puritan Presbyterian and a bachelor who is active in the Boy Scout movement (he is an honorary member of its National Council) has repeatedly declared, "I am opposed to a national police force. I have a total respect for the sovereignty of the states and the local authorities, to whom we furnish a considerable amount of information which helps them to solve local crimes." Hoover believes the FBI should devote itself first and foremost to its original function, that of protecting the nation against subversion and treason, both on the inside and from the outside.
In 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt charged the FBI with the surveillance of the Nazi agents and sympathizers in the United States. When the war broke out in 1941, it coordinated the internal security measures against spies and saboteurs and found its true vocation. When the Second World War gave way to the Cold War, the FBI turned its attention to the Communists. Hoover was charged with the task of "unmasking and dismantling Soviet espionage activities."
On October 19, 1960, Hoover declared, " We are at war with the Communists."(20) Certain generals had been forced to resign for similar statements, but even Kennedy hesitated to replace " the Director." Eleven days after Kennedy's assassination, on December 3, 1963, Hoover reaffirmed his creed. A month earlier he had declared, "President Kennedy's closest advisers are either Communists or Communist sympathizers." Hoover repeatedly emphasized the essential role played by the FBI in the struggle against Communism and in the protection of the "American way of life." Since the advent of Castro, the Caribbean area had taken on a special importance for the FBI, which showed a sudden interest in the Cuban exile groups. Hoover considered that "it is more important to prevent or circumvent espionage, sabotage, and other subversive activities than to prosecute the individuals who engage in this type of activity . . ." Such a rationale can have far-reaching consequences.
A self-appointed judge of what is good for the United States, Hoover refused to send FBI agents to Little Rock in 1957. Despite the injunctions of Robert Kennedy, he refused to engage his agents completely in the enforcement of civil rights legislation. It was a known fact that local FBI agents in several southern states cooperated with the segregationist local police force. When, on September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded in a Negro Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four Negro children, the FBI learned who was guilty, but failed to pass on this information officially, thereby becoming the passive accomplice of the local police.
Robert Kennedy had been aware of Hoover's power since entering the Justice Department in 1953, but he needed him, and he was obliged to postpone his retirement, although Hoover was 65. In August 1962, he even defended the FBI chief against the attacks of Wilbur H. Ferry, vice-president of the Fund for the Republic, declaring, "Let's leave that to the experts. Mr. Hoover is my expert."(21)
It has been written that Bob Kennedy was "too politically sophisticated to clash openly with the honors-encrusted FBI Director." Serious criticism of Hoover or the FBI is still regarded in the United States as something close to treason, and it is tantamount to political suicide. Hoover's sources of information, and the files at his disposal, are in fact more important than those available to comparable organisms in totalitarian states, where the heads of the intelligence services have the power to dismiss the Chief of Police.(22) The FBI has files on 200 million people, only 20% of whom have ever been arrested. It keeps up-to-date dossiers on all the leading political and business figures. A great many Americans have reason to fear the FBI, which has confidential information about the lives and activities of the most diverse and the most insignificant citizens.
To the icy courtesy of the Attorney General, Mr. Hoover replied in October 1962, before his favorite audience, the American Legion, that "the Communists have infiltrated every sector of our society."(23) Why this obsession with the Communist bugbear? Ever since its creation by Theodore Roosevelt, the FBI has been at war with what it calls "the forces of evil." By this is meant not so much the overall category of doers of evil, and in particular high-class criminals, but liberals. Hoover himself once said, "This term liberalism should not be taken lightly . . ." The obsession with Communism has the effect of maintaining the American people in a state of tension. The FBI knows perfectly well -- at least we assume that its directors are sound of mind -- that it has little to fear from a Communist Party of only 10,000 members, all of whom are known to the FBI and under constant surveillance, and which has been infiltrated by more than 1,000 FBI informers. The FBI is represented on the Central Committee of the American Communist Party, and at one point it even appointed its security chief. It has been estimated that the FBI, through the dues paid by its agents, is the most important single contributor to the Communist Party in the United States.
Hoover's attitude is based more on morality than on politics. When US News and World Report asked him, "Some people say that the Communist Party cannot possibly represent a danger for the United States," he replied, "Emphatically, 'No.' Members of the Communist Party, USA are active participants in the international criminal conspiracy which is totally alien to our way of life and completely dedicated to enslaving the world." He was thus expressing the point of view not of the government he was supposed to represent, but of the anti-Kennedy faction. Hoover's extremism, his puritanism and his technical competence had the effect of placing, in a passive way at least, the efficient machinery of the FBI at its disposal.
Hoover is a perfectionist as far as the efficiency and the quality of his employees are concerned. The FBI recruits highly-qualified men and women whose integrity is above reproach. Carefully screened before they are hired, they are well-paid(24) and thoroughly trained. Each is a specialist, and his responsibilities are narrowly defined and rigorously supervised. The autonomy of an FBI man is strictly limited, even in technical areas. When the principal objective is security or secrecy, each subordinate must control all of the details in his area or activity, and each supervisor must control all of his subordinates. The FBI encourages its employees to inform on one another not only for professional misconduct, but also for deviations from the exemplary moral standards to which every member of the bureau is expected to adhere.(25) FBI employees are bound by a multitude of rules and regulations, some of which even concern their mode of dress. If he wants to stay on the good side of the Director, the well-dressed G-man must wear a dark suit, a shirt with French cuffs, and a handkerchief in his pocket.(26)
The FBI hierarchy is strictly observed. FBI agents are totally subordinated to their superiors, and through them to the Director. Carlos Marcello, one of the leaders of the Confederation of Crime, was arrested in New Orleans on September 22, 1966 and charged with striking a federal agent, Patrick J. Collins, Jr. Marcello declared that he could hardly have known that Collins was an FBI agent, since he was in shirtsleeves.(27) Such a violation of bureau regulations could only have been committed with the knowledge of the hierarchy. Even J. Edgar Hoover is capable of making an exception to the rules if there is sufficient justification. There have been other slip-ups. A crime is a federal offense for the FBI only when the Director deems it such. The FBI only intervenes in the affairs of the local police when they do not share the Director's views about "Communists" and "degenerates."
Does the honorable Mr. Hoover, we wonder, ever adorn his French cuffs with the cuff links that his Attorney General in the Kennedy years, another man with an eye for detail, gave him one year for Christmas -- simple gold cuff links inscribed with the Seal of Justice?
1. November 18, 1967.
2. Gambling alone accounts for $20 billion.
3. Report of the Commission of Inquiry of Massachusetts, 1957.
4. Democrat from Arkansas.
5. George Fitzgerald represented James Hoffa. Eddie Cheyfitz was Dave Beck's attorney. Several firms of business consultants furnish information not only on legal questions, but also on labor problems, and can even provide informers if the need arises. Nationally-known companies such as Macy's, General Electric, and Republic Aircraft employ such techniques.
6. It has been estimated that 800,000 Americans have been murdered since the turn of the century .Two million firearms are sold to private citizens in the United States each year.
7. Chairman of the Criminology Section of the American Sociological Association -- Task Force on Crime -- Administration of Justice (Washington, 1967).
8. Among the participants at this conference, held at the home of Joseph Barbara, 19 were in the clothing business, 7 owned trucking firms, 9 slot machines, and 17 restaurants. Eleven were importers of olive oil and cheese, 4 were funeral directors, and the others were involved in car sales, coal companies, and show business. One was an orchestra leader.
In 1967 this Board of Directors of organized crime (founded in 1931 by Al Capone and Lucky Luciano) included 4 New Yorkers, Vito Genevose (in Leavenworth federal prison), Carlo Gambino, Joe Colombo, and Joe Bonnano; Sam Giancana of Chicago; Joe Zerilli of Detroit; Steve Maggadino of Buffalo; and Angelo Bruno of Philadelphia.
9. Kennedy declared in January, 1963, that he had evidence against: Mickey Cohen on the West Coast, Frankie Carbo of New York, Alfred Sica of Los Angeles, Buster Wortman of St. Louis, Kid Cann, who had controlled Minneapolis for 30 years, and Trigger Mike Coppola of Miami.
Mickey Cohen, typical of this type of gangster, had declared an income of $1,200 in 1956 and $1,500 in 1957, but he owned an armored car worth $25,000, silk pajamas that cost $275,300 suits, and 1,500 pairs of socks!
10. As a result of these revelations, the voters recalled the County Sheriff, and the chief detective of the local police force was fired.
11. Section 310.71 of the police regulations states:
"Members and employees shall not accept either directly or indirectly any gift, gratuity, loan, fee, or any other thing of value arising from or offered because of police employment or any activity connected with said employment. Members and employees shall not accept any gift, gratuity, loan, fee, or other thing of value the acceptance of which might tend to influence directly or indirectly the actions of said member or employee or any other member or employee in any matter of police business; or which might tend to cast any adverse reflection on the department or any member or employee thereof. No member or employee of the department shall receive any gift or gratuity from other members or employees junior in rank without the express permission of the Chief of Police."
12. Unless otherwise indicated, all of these statistics date from 1966. In general, the financial situation of the police was even less favorable in 1963.
13. The national average for criminal arrests is 22 % for thefts and 59 % for crimes, but these figures should be regarded with suspicion, and they exclude most of the crimes imputable to the Confederation of Crime.
14. Donald R. Cressey.
15. Director of the FBI since 1924.
16. Hoover speaks slightingly of the "various Attorney Generals under whom I have served."
17. In 1967 Bill Davidson wrote, "So many FBI plants have infiltrated the Mafia organization that you can hardly tell the Mafiosi from the informers.
18. Something that had probably not happened to Mr. Hoover since 1928.
19. He is said to have ordered federal agents to wake up journalists in the middle of the night to ask them questions that could just as wen have waited until morning, a procedure that was severely criticized by the public.
20. In 1968, the word "Communist" has lost a great deal of its impact. The traditional American Communist Party has become a "revisionist bourgeois clique," and the authentic Marxists have switched their allegiance to the Communist Party USA (Marxist-Leninist), a splinter group of Stalinist-Maoists who divide their energies between Watts and Harlem.
21. He had previously declared that Hoover's assistance was "unmatchable."
22. In the Soviet Union, Beria was eliminated in this fashion. In France, Roger Wybot, the director of the Office of Territorial. Security, who had kept his job through 12 successive governments in the Fourth Republic because he had files on numerous political figures, was dismissed when General de Gaulle came to power. Mr. Wybot had no file on the General.
23. James Meredith, the "black communist" (as the FBI has called him) had been admitted to the University of Mississippi in September, 1962, and the Kennedy administration seemed in no hurry to respond to "the Cuban menace."
24. FBI agents earn from $8,421 to $16,905 a year, exclusive of overtime pay and bonuses. The Director's salary is $30,000 a year.
25. Thomas Henry Carter, an FBI clerk and a bachelor, was fired in August, 1965 after he was denounced by his FBI colleagues for having spent the night with a woman.
26. Hoover's moral principles are as good as law in the FBI.
An FBI agent does not go out at night without his wife. He does not read Playboy. He does not have pimples. He does not drink. He does not wear his hair too short (it is considered a sign of immaturity). He wipes his hands (and not on his pocket handkerchief) before entering the Director's office (the Director does not like sweaty hands). He does not smoke in front of the Director (the Director does not like the smell of tobacco). He is expected to read the Director's book, Masters of Deceit, and Don Whitehead's The FBI Story, and to pass them along to his friends.
27. Marcello is one of the richest men in Louisiana. His fortune has been estimated at $40 million, and he owes it to political graft and police corruption. He controls casinos in Jennings, Lafayette, Bossier City, West Baton Rouge, and Morgan City, Louisiana, the government of Jefferson Parish (county), which he has made his headquarters, the Jefferson Music company, which operates juke boxes and coin machines, and a system of bookmakers. He owns gambling places and houses of prostitution in Bossier City, across from Shreveport, a company called Sightseeing Tours in New Orleans, a night club in Dallas. and other concerns. In 1963 he was in contact with certain politicians and oilmen in Texas and Louisiana.